From sweet mangoes to curd rice, here’s what you should be eating as the temperatures rise to stay cool in the hot Indian summer.
Our bodies are in tune with nature, and as the mercury rises, you need to avoid greasy, oily, and spicy foods and instead load up your plate with cool and hydrating foods and drinks. Here, we’ve rounded up some of the best comfort foods that Indians from the North to South, East to West indulge in to stay cool during the hot summer months.
- Tender Coconut
The quintessential Indian summer drink has made a recent comeback, thanks to rising health awareness that make people shun the artificially flavoured aerated drinks. Nothing takes us back to summers past, like sipping tender coconut directly out of the shell.
Filled with electrolytes and other essential minerals, this drink not only keeps you hydrated but also energized. Make sure to scoop out the coconut from the shell, after you have finished the drink.
- Cooling Curd Rice
Nothing soothes you on a hot summer day like indulging in a bowl of creamy curd rice, with that tiny bit of homemade mango pickle – the perfect flavour combination. What more, curd rice is chock full of nutrients – carbs, amino acids for protein, probiotics, and the best part – it cools down your system.
- Marvelous Mangoes
An Indian summer is incomplete without indulging in these delicious golden fruits. It contains plenty of fibre helping you cut down your appetite. No cholesterol, rich in beta-carotene, flavonoids, vitamin C and, low in sodium and fat, mango is not only tasty but healthy. Avoid juices, and eat the king of fruit as it is.
- Juicy Watermelons
The silver lining of Indian summers is that we get plenty of seasonal fruits. From melons to mangoes, and watermelons – the markets are flooded with hydrating fruits. And, biting into a slice of juicy watermelon takes us right back into our childhood, right?
- Nungu or Tadgola
These are the fruits of the native Palmyra trees of south India. It’s also known as ice-apple; it is like a sweet jelly dessert. You can eat it as it is or blend it with ice-cold milk to make a tasty milkshake. The sap of palm trees known as ‘padhaneer’ in Tamil is a supercooling drink, rich in calcium.
- Tasty Thandai
This is a hugely popular drink in Rajasthan and other parts of north India. Made with rich spices like saffron, cardamom, and nuts like cashews, almonds, pista, rose petals, this creamy milk drink makes for the perfect sweet ending to your meals.
- Cool as a Cucumber
There’s a reason for this saying – cucumbers are one of the best vegetables to stay hydrated. Slice and season with salt and chilli powder for a chatpata summer snack.
- Homemade Lemonade
Remember those tall glasses of lemonade we sipped on as kids, after a day of playing out in the hot summer sun? Rich in Vitamin C, lemonade helps you relax and stress down, especially when the heat becomes too much to bear.
- Lip-smacking Lassi
Bored with eating yogurt out of the bowl or with curd rice? Try it in a new form as Lassi. You can flavour the lassi with a dash of honey, fruit juices, or go for a spicy lassi with ginger, coriander and a pinch of salt.
- Nutritious Sattu
This is a traditional meal replacement drink made from sprouted pulses and cereals. It’s a rich source of carbs and proteins and is easy to digest, making it a great choice for those lazy afternoons when you are feeling too tired to have a regular meal.
Don’t let the heat of the season bog you down. Indulge in these traditional Indian foods and drinks, and stay cool during summer.